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3 minute read with link to full report

Research released to mark the start of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week

A generation of young people are rapidly reassessing their career dreams, according to research released to mark the start of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2020 (#TEWeek20).

Over one in five 11 to 19 year olds agreed that what they want to do as a career has changed (22%) and 30% agreed that career options have changed as a result of the pandemic.

The report authors claim that this suggests the pandemic is affecting – and in some cases, constraining – young people’s career aspirations. And the figures show that despite improvements in recent years to careers advice, access to support is not universal. In fact, researchers found that 15 to 16 year old boys in Year 11 were 1.3 times more likely to receive careers guidance than girls.

One goal of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is to inspire young people about the exciting opportunities a career in engineering can offer them / Picture: Getty/iStock


Concerningly, since school closures in March 2020, over three quarters (76%) of 11 to 19 year olds have not accessed formal careers activities.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (2-6 November 2020) is designed to help broaden the minds of young people and inspire them about the exciting opportunities in the world of engineering through digital and social media platforms.

A packed calendar will see young engineers, engineering institutions, employers and schools come together to deliver inspiring activity to show young people the vital importance of engineering careers and deliver advice about how to become an engineer in the future.

The Royal Academy of Engineering will also run its annual This is Engineering Day on Wednesday 4 November, celebrating the engineering that shapes our world for the better, whether that’s by making our daily lives easier or tackling some of our biggest global challenges.

Events will see engineering institutions, employers and schools deliver inspiring activities to show the vital importance of engineering careers / Picture: Getty/iStock


In education, young people living in poverty are already at a disadvantage compared to their wealthier peers. The pandemic has affected how young people access education and this gap is expected to expand as many disadvantaged students do not have access to learning resources online or to appropriate devices.

It is critical that initiatives aimed at widening participation in STEM take this reality into account, working collaboratively across schools, employers, outreach providers and policy makers to ensure that young people who are digitally excluded are not left behind.

The research found that the most popular request from young people was more information on careers delivered in a business environment. To help deliver this, EngineeringUK has launched the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code – a new approach to engagement, with Professional Engineering Institutions, FTSE 100 corporates, SMEs, government departments and universities working towards common goals to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering.

Dr Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “Engineering, manufacturing and technology provide a breadth of exciting careers that will be at the heart of rebuilding the UK economy post Covid-19.

“Many thousands of engineers will be needed in new jobs in infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects to upgrade our hospitals, schools and road network, make public buildings greener and help the UK achieve its aspirations of achieving net zero by 2050.

“With young people trying to navigate a post-pandemic, post-Brexit education and training landscape, we believe that now more than ever, they will need support in building their insights into different careers which is why events like Tomorrow’s Engineers Week are so vital.”

You can download the full report by clicking the image below:

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